Mothers and Friendships and Young Children

A young mother sat at the end of the last pew, in a church filled with wedding guests. In her lap, a nine month old baby girl squirmed, threatening to destroy the peaceful decadance of the sacred occasion. Alone in a sea of strangers, there to witness her childhood friend’s special moment, the young mother began to wish she hadn’t come. Where does one retreat, in a strange church, with an unruly baby, when every ear is craning to hear the maiden whisper of emotion filled vows?

At the reception later, she planned to stick it out through the receiving line so her friend at least knew she’d made the journey to be with her, when an older woman behind her in the long line tugged playfully at her baby’s foot.

“Is this your only child?”

“Yes, she is.” The mother turned, and recognized the older woman as one who had spoken to their MOPs group about homeschooling. Quickly she re-introduced herself to the tall blonde, and in turn was treated to meeting each of the woman’s teenage daughters.  

“Where do you live now?” The older woman asked, resuming their initial socializing.

The line of guests moved along, and the two women chatted like old friends. The young mom went from feeling lost, to deciding to stay longer. Soon a dark-haired toddler tumbled to the floor, landing at her high heels.

“This is Clarissa.” Sheila, the older woman, stooped to steady the little one and help her on her way.

The younger mom’s arms ached from corraling her own youngster the past two hours. She watched curiously as Clarissa’s mom reclaimed her little girl and thanked Sheila.

Surprise heated her face when Sheila beckoned her to come over.

“Mary, do you know Kim yet?” she asked, her kind smile smoothing over any initial discomfort between the two young moms. “Kim is a stay at home mom, out in the country just like you, and Clarissa is only three months older than your little girl. Best of all, you gals only live maybe fifteen minutes from each other.” Leaning forward, she rescued the nine month old from her exhausted mother and departed with her, saying over her shoulder, “I think you two are the answer to each other’s prayers.”

***

And come to find out, we were. Kim had been praying fervently for a heart-to-heart friend, someone who shared her values and had children the same ages as hers. Right there in the line, with the friendship only five minutes old, she confided to me that she was expecting her second baby and hadn’t told anyone but her husband yet. Our bond forged, we planned a playdate for our little girls and we’ve been great friends ever since. We started homeschooling together; we attended Taste of Home cooking shows together; we’ve canned pickles and peach lemonade together, in her kitchen and mine, at night and during the day; we’ve bemoaned our shabby back porches together and brainstormed parenting issues for many phone hours together; we’ve welcomed each other’s new babies with casseroles and home made baby wipes…and best of all, out of all our acquaintances with kids the same ages as ours, we couldn’t pick any children we’d rather have our own hang out with.

Isn’t God good?

We parents have the great responsibility of protecting our children by choosing appropriate playmates and families with which to form lasting bonds.

Are you feeling alone, wishing you had another mom who loved the Lord as you do, someone to sharpen and grown alongside as you raise your children together? If you have young children and haven’t yet found another family at your pace in life, I encourage you to pray about it. Give the desire of your heart over to the King of Kings. Don’t you think He wants to pair us up with godly friends, so together we can spur ever onward and let His glory be made known?

Maybe there’s another mom out there, waiting around in a wedding line of strangers, and a future God’s got all mapped out just waiting for you both to discover…

9 thoughts on “Mothers and Friendships and Young Children”

  1. This gives me hope! Such a nice, inspiring story to read. Thank you! Funny how God works in such mysterious ways…like how I found this site through searching for an Amish Friendship Bread recipe!

  2. This is such a great story and gives me hope too. I long to find another step-family like ours or at the very least a step-mom who’s “been there”. The kids are great, but I just want to find another woman who I can confide in that will just understand! Your story touched my heart. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I also found this site because of the friendship bread. My sister found it, and said that I would love this, and I have been reading it ever since. God does bring us to one another. This story brought tears to my eyes, and hope to my heart.

  4. yes God IS good – he’s amazing. I think the thing to remember about such a young child is that at this age they do tend to squirm and not want to sit still. Anyone who thinks they should “behave themselves” at 9 months is dreaming – unless they’re asleep then it just doesn’t happen.

  5. Friends are so important! I’ve not always had that “close” friend…depending on where we’ve lived. But I’ve sure missed having one when I did not!

    Sometimes I’ve prayed for years, and God has not provided. It must have been for a reason – a deepening in me. What a refreshment when a good friend was once again provided! I think that women who move a lot have to work harder at making the friendships – military, pastor’s wives, etc…if you know you will be moving sometime it is harder to make friends, to put down roots.

    But we are ALL missing something if we do not have at least ONE good friend close to where we live!

  6. Great post Mary. I’ve been thinking about this some lately. I wish you and I weren’t 7 hours from each other. I’ll be praying that I can make friends with a gentle woman closer to home as well.

  7. Husbands are of course the best of friends to have, but I think it takes a lot of pressure off of our men if we can talk our “fears/hopes” out with a kindred-spirit woman friend who is going through the same things as we are. When I met Kim, in the above story, I’d just “lost” my best friend to a cross-country move. In fact, my friend and I only had a year or so together before she moved and the closeness we shared was that similar to sisters. I found out I was pregnant with my first child after she left…and it was almost two years later that God led Kim and I to each other. So I identify with having that period of “mourning” the absence of a good friend. It’s hard, especially when it seems as though everyone out there except you has a friend or a “clique” to which they belong. But Holly, you are so right, God can use periods of “friendship drought” to grow us closer to Him, just as He uses any hardships He allows in our lives…thanks for sharing that, Holly. :)

    Amy, I tend to agree. The only 9 month olds in our church that behave themselves during the service are the ones that sleep through it! But I think we can all identify with the insecurities of new motherhood and squirmy babies in church! That’s definitely my biggest memory of my friend’s wedding, worrying over the creaking doors as I slipped out of the sanctuary! πŸ˜‰

    Hugs to you Juli–I’m so glad to have you here, and to have gotten to know you a bit “behind the scenes”. If only the pioneer women could have had the internet for friendships, huh! Those poor things on the wind-rampaged prairies in their dug-outs…we girls can touch hearts on a daily basis at the skitter of a few keys and a mouse, no need to get dressed up and drive to a central meeting place. What a quick and wonderful way to encourage each other! I love it…

    Colleen, thank you for blessing me with your response to the story. I pray that you’ll find that step-support in a special friend. God wants you and SR to succeed, and a huge part of that includes your relationships working with the kids. Family is such a multi-faceted word. Belonging is so important. I know that everything can seem all goodness and light before the ceremony, and then the real struggles begin. If only we could all see the wonderful goodness of the big picture (such as the fact that you are completing SR’s family) and not let all the little things (that are sure to hurt as you adjust) erode away at it. Your experience working with young people is sure to come in handy, but even more important is having a “flight plan” spiritually in place before you even need it! Wishing you God’s best, and praying for you guys!

  8. Thanks, Bethanie! I hear you on the distance separating us. As I said in my last comment, emails and online blogs really help though! And snail mail and care packages are really nice too! πŸ˜‰

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